The first page on Alessandro Echevaria's website, skulldaggery.com, features a stripped image that's very familiar to me. It's a simple page, with few words and a medium-sized picture of an animal-- I'm not sure what kind, really, but it's definitely not human-- whose face has been sliced into four sections, eyes intact, yellow, and vacant. In between the sections you can see bits of what cartoon anatomy must look like, all in pink with nerve endings slipping out to the edges of the animals' skin.
I don't think I would have been so disturbed by the image had I not recognized the base right away: the animal Echevaria mangled here was none other than the lead monster in Maurice Sendak's classic Where the Wild Things Are. The scariest monster of the bunch-- part lion, part sasquatch, with a wild, dark mane and big, square teeth-- wasn't nearly so intimidating once he'd been sliced up, innards neatly packed between the sections of his head.
Alas, there were only two of these icons dismembered (the other was Pinnochio-- who was a real boy, after all.) Echevaria carries out this dismemberment theme through a lot of the work on the site, sometimes to tragic-- but mostly to sardonically comic-- effect. When leafing through his tee-shirt designs and digital pieces, my initial urge is to ask him to do a series of comic books and sell them to the adult market.
The lines are simple, the colors stark, and his sense of humor are all so contemporary as to scare off your average intelligentsia enough to pull off a hell of a career in the subversive above-ground world of post-modern art and lit. If he'd started doing these pieces ten years ago, he might have been considered too far ahead of his time. But in a world post- Wicked and thirty years since Chris Clairmont proved that comic books were beyond simple kids' stuff-- he's a completely apropos contemporary.